I have the misfortune of having Steve Southerland “represent” me in Congress. His latest e-mail to constituents includes the following nonsense:
By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about Standard and Poor’s decision last weekend to downgrade America’s AAA credit rating for the first time in history. S&P’s decision is proof positive that the recently negotiated debt ceiling compromise falls short of conquering our tremendous economic challenges.
S&P warned that it would require $4 trillion in spending cuts to avoid a downgrade. The compromise plan included just $2.4 trillion in cuts, along with an equivalent hike in our debt limit. That’s one of the major reasons why I voted “no” on the debt limit compromise.
As many of my House Republican colleagues and I warned for months, a downgrade in America’s credit rating was not only likely – it was inevitable – if Washington failed to get serious about implementing the game-changing, long-term spending cuts necessary to save this economy. How many more wake-up calls will it take before Republicans and Democrats alike recognize that we’re broke and we get serious about changing the culture of Washington, D.C.?
Rest assured, I will continue working with like-minded members of both parties to conquer our crushing burden of debt and change the culture in Washington.
No question that Southerland is lying directly in this message. S&P did NOT say we needed $4 trillion in spending cuts, they said we needed $4 trillion in deficit reduction. There are three ways to reduce a deficit and spending cuts is only one of them. And at the federal level, it’s the least effective method of deficit reduction. Better ways to tackle the deficit are to grow the economy, which requires increased spending, and increased revenue.
Southerland also lies by saying that we are “broke.” This couldn’t possibly be further from the truth. Even if the deficit and debt were nearly as serious as Southerland and pals say they are — and they definitively are not — we still are raising trillions of dollars of revenue every year despite having historically low tax rates. If you are bringing in trillions of dollars of revenue, you obviously aren’t broke. Southerland is lying about the country being broke so he can attack poor people and appease his right-wing corporate masters and Tea Party voters.
Finally, Southerland claims that he will work to “solve” the problem by teaming up with “like-minded members of both parties.” In reality, people that focus on solutions that are similar to his are guaranteed not to solve our problems. It was like-minded people, of both parties, who got us into the situation we are in.